Were You Team Karen or Team Ivy on Smash?

The season finale of the NBC show Smash aired last night, and we finally know who got the leading role. I was kind of disappointed to be honest cos I had been rooting for Ivy to get it throughout most of the season's episodes. By the way, Smash is a portrayal of what it takes to put together a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe and get it to Broadway


I liked the show, not just because it was a musical, and followed it semi-religiously every Monday for the past few months. It was well written, and the staged music was just fantastic. They had some pretty interesting characters and some storylines that kept me watching.

The competition between the two would-be leading ladies geared up very from the very first episode when we were introduced to two talented singers vying for the spotlight and the chance to play Marilyn. As the season progressed, we got to know them better, with the two of them striking up an uneasy alliance along the line. The rivalry ratcheted up last week when the character of Uma Thurman, star Rachel Duvall, bowed out of the production of Bombshell among other stuff happening.

So who are the two women battling it out in the ring?

There's Karen, or saint K as Atala called her last night, he's on her side of course. Karen (in gold) is a small town girl, typical girl next door and she can do no wrong it seems. Karen is beautiful - prettier and younger than Ivy - and she has a cute boyfriend too. Being the good girl, she turned down the advances of the director of the upcoming Marilyn show.

While I am a champion of someone standing by their convictions, and especially women when it comes to opportunist men who abuse their positions of power, the character of Karen seems somehow one-dimensional, and she does not convince me that she really wants that role. To be clear, she has a great voice, and can perform quite well. Maybe the confusion that comes through is cos she is also split between her love for her BF and the desire to be a Broadway star.

And then there's Ivy (in red) - Some may say Karen is the underdog in this show because she's inexperienced and new to town but to me Ivy is the underdog and that is why I like her. I also like that you can't confuse her for a saint, her character is so much more nuanced. She is insecure and tries to cover it up by being very snarky. Her mother was a Broadway star and Ivy has been working her ass off for years singing chorus and trying to match up with her mother's success. You can call her jaded, and you won't be far off.

I was rooting for Ivy because not only did I think she deserved a break, I also believed she was the more talented singer. She has an amazing voice with a powerful range, and listening to some of her songs gave me goosebumps. Also, Ivy is so passionate about Marilyn and about the show, she actually gave pointers to the director - who she entered a relationship with after a couch casting call - on making it all work better.

Well, Karen got the role in the end, and we're left to wonder the fate of Ivy. All I can say is that I may stop watching Smash next season depending on what happens to Ivy.

PS - The byline below is for those who copy my posts verbatim. Thanks for the love.

Myne Whitman - bestselling author, award-winning blogger, magazine columnist, and founder of Naijastories.com.